Ji-ho looks like someone just called his Mommie Dearest a bad name, and Mommie Dearest just looks like she accidentally swallowed a bug. Just another normal day in Five Fingers Land!
Yeong-rang orders Ji-ho off the stage, accusing him of jimmying the piano in order to make In-ha look bad at his first concert. In-ha, oddly composed for a change, asks Ji-ho quietly to do as he asks today, and just leave. Which Ji-ho does, placing his bouquet of flowers on the broken piano before slinking out the side entrance.
So-yeol finally breaks the uncomfortable silence and asks why is everyone picking on her poor innocent Ji-ho? She sees the problem with the performer’s qualifications; a musician is supposed to check his instrument before any performance. Yeong-rang wheels around and says it’s not In-ha’s fault; she’s positive someone intentionally messed with the piano. Professor Ha then demands So-yeol to look at the piano since she’s an expert at those very things. She begrudeingly heads over to the keyboard, but is interrupted by Da-mi asking if she can take a look at it first.
Ji-ho is seen pissed and stomping out of the building, as Da-mi gives the piano a going-over. Repeatedly pounding on the F key in question, she turns the tuning hammer ever-so-slightly, but the string will not slide into key (it sounds slightly flat to me). She tells In-ha to test it out, but it’s still not quite right. Yeong-rang orders In-ha to send away Da-mi; why are you giving up like this? In-ha says that he has the utmost faith in Da-mi, and she gives it one more try.
Sounding like a perfect F to her ears (and mine as well), so she tells In-ha to give it a go now. In-ha plinks away, and viola, it’s fixed! In-ha is besides himself with gratitude, but Da-mi tells him to go get ready since he’s only got 5 minutes left before his performance. Yeong-rang gives her the ol’ up-and-down look, wondering who is that usurper that basically just saved her Precious Son’s ass.
In-ha plays through that old chestnut of Chopin’s Polonaise in A-flat major (so he really needed that F key in tune for sure), as we see Ji-ho back in his studio playing through the same piece (with waaaaay more feeling, I must add). Ji-ho hears Professor Ha’s voice in his head telling his that the piano cannot be trusted to someone hell-bent on ruining In-ha’s concert and Yeong-rang ordering his banishment from the building.
STOP THE PRESSES!! In-ha actually performs a piece that isn’t Chopin-related: the middle movement from the Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 8 in C-minor. Ji-ho plays through it as well, and there is some wicked awesome camerawork as the show flips back-and-forth between the two boys performing their own interpretations of the piece. All of a sudden Ji-ho stops and reflected in the piano lid, stares off into the distance…
… as In-ha, dripping with sweat, does the same thing. Mad applause from the audience, and he rises to take a bow. (By the way, that is NOT how the Beethoven piece actually ends, dammit!) Da-mi is there clapping wildly for him, as So-yeol looks like she’s the one that’s now eaten a bug. Attorney Choi calls one of the newspapers to let them know that In-ha’s concert just ended very successfully… and they can go release the article they spoke about earlier.
Riding the bus home, Da-mi attempts to call Ji-ho but he’s not picking up. She flashes back to the events earlier in the evening about Ji-ho’s raking over the coals by his family. Walking by the Hanguk music school, she doesn’t see his bicycle chained up out front as normal, and yet another flashback to their first not-cute-meeting after the accident on the bike trail. More flashbacks to their bike ride later, their argument outside the piano store, drawing in the Girly Binder, them playing together during one of her lessons, yada yada yada. Steeling her resolve, Da-mi heads around the building only to be confronted by a brick wall full of Yoo Ji Ho posters from his upcoming-but-now-cancelled concert. Asking where in the world Ji-ho has run off to, she questions whether or not he’s really her teacher ’cause he ain’t acting like one!
All of a sudden, Da-mi remembers the practice room where he teaches the underprivileged kids, and heads off that way. There she finds Ji-ho asleep on the couch with sheet music strewn all around and his headphones in his ears. Shaking him awake, he’s genuinely surprised to see her there. She chastizes him for making her waste so much time looking for him because she was so worried about him. Ji-ho doesn’t understand why she of all people would be fussing and worried about him, to which Da-mi wonders why she is herself. But she can’t help but be upset because of all these stupid misunderstandings.
Tears spring to her eyes, and Ji-ho asks why she’s crying. Da-mi doesn’t know herself, and says that if nothing else is going on and Ji-ho is okay, then she’ll just hit the bricks. She turns to leave, and of course Ji-ho grabs her arm to keep from going. (*drink*) Ji-ho tells her to stop being mad, because it will then be really hard upon him. Instead, Ji-ho asks her to make him laugh; his brain is so muddled right now that he’s forgotten how to smile.
With an interesting version of the “Fur Elise” playing in the background, we see Ji-ho and Da-mi at a bookstore reading… manwah?!? Da-mi asks if he’s enjoying the comic booksbut Ji-ho says he doesn’t find it funny… underline the funny parts where he’s supposed to be laughing. Da-mi sighs and asks him why he still has that stick up his butt; can’t he just enjoy them for what they are? She orders him to fill his lungs with air and completely rid his brain of all thoughts. Ji-ho still doesn’t understand that request, and still still doesn’t find the books funny at all. Da-mi rips it from his hands and says if it’s not fun, then maybe they should just go as she stacks up the reading materials. Ji-ho says they’ve already paid for the reading time, so maybe they should stay there a little longer to justify the cost.
A cuter-than-cute aw-it’s-so-pwecious montage follows that involves White Cheddar Cheetos and an attempt to share the last bite. A little good-natured pushing and shoving between the two, and Da-mi finally accepts the last Cheeto from his hand. But she did succeed in making him laugh!!
A celebratory dinner after In-ha’s performance has the attendees raising wine glasses in a toast. Yeong-rang congratulates him, but she already knew that he would do spendidly. In-ha says that after all that practicing, it was almost like his dead nerves came back to life. And he didn’t want to look like a 60kg weakling in front of the kids and especially Professor Ha. The Professor tells In-ha that out of several concerts he’s seen recently, this was one of the best. It was especially moving seeing all the kids with tears in their eyes at the end of the performance. Yeong-rang is still perplexed over the whole piano-tampering incident, though. Her being a pianist herself, she would know that there’s no way the hammer mechanism would come undone like that unless someone deliberately tampered with it. (So-yeol is sitting there still looking like she ate a bug.) The Professor is convinced that someone who is jealous of In-ha deliberately tampered with it. (And the next person that says the same thing is gonna get a slap across the face from me.)
EvilStep opens her yap and asks if the Professor isn’t suspecting Ji-ho, by any chance? He doesn’t lack anything to go and sabotage his brother, so don’t go dissin’ him like that, Home Boy! (Phew. No slap.) The Professor tells her that was yesterday; this is today — the best position can always change. EvilStep snipes that just because Ji-ho is no longer his Prized Pupil, doesn’t mean that he can talk smack about his innate talents. He will SO regret what he did to Ji-ho, even as his coffin is being lowered into the ground. (You GO, EvilStep!!) Professor Ha takes exception to that last comment, as Yeong-rang scolds her stepmom to slow down and not get drunk and In-ha looks like he’d rather be anywhere else than sitting next to her at that moment. EvilStep counters with the wine is there to drink, no? Turning her attention onto So-yeol, EvilStep asks if she’s involved in the remaking of the Butt-Ugly Piano, since Yeong-rang has been burning the midnight oil on the project. Is So-yeol that confident to stop her overseas studies to come home and work on such a beast? Yeong-rang promises the table that a great piano should be produced soon, since So-yeol is so smart and skilled.
Instead of gracefully accepting the compliment, So-yeol instead asks if she could be excused from the table because she’s not feeling well. Yeong-rang doesn’t think she looks well enough to drive, as In-ha offers his driver services because a lady should not have to go home by herself if she’s feeling unwell. They leave the courtyard, as Yeong-rang attempts to play matchmaker instead, calling out So-yeol’s beauty at her tender age. The Professor should not only think about his successor, but also about getting his daughter married off as well. EvilStep is still lambasting the Professor, which gets her a hiss out of him…
As So-yeol and In-ha leave the building, she tells him she can go home by herself since In-ha the Star should stick around for his own party. Instead, In-ha turns to her and asks why she did it — what has he done to her for some covert piano-tampering to occur? When she asks what he’s yammering about, In-ha says he saw her put the tuning hammer back in its place. So-yeol calls no way, because why would she want to waste her time with that, as In-ha says that he bets she just HATES the fact that he’s about to be Professor Ha’s successor instead of her precious Ji-ho. Flashback to So-yeol truly tampering with the piano, as she tells In-ha that she only wanted to show her father that he is sorely lacking in talent; she was going to make it right again before he took the stage. In-ha asks if she’s got the hots for Ji-ho, as she says yup and that’s not all; In-ha’s behavior was cowardly and despicable and does it make sense to corner his own brother and take away what is rightfully his?
Screaming ANIYI!!!, he grabs So-yeol by the shoulders and says he didn’t steal anything from Ji-ho… he fought fair and square and he won. So back off, lady… don’t interfere in his life anymore with false compassion, because he won’t forgive her for her next transgression. Throwing her aside, In-ha tells So-yeol that her secret is safe with him and the Professor doesn’t need to know that his daughter is such a loser. As In-ha walks off, So-yeol gives him a perfect Death Glare From Hell.
Ji-ho walks Da-mi to her house, and she hands over the Girly Notebook with today’s homework and sheet music. Ji-ho is impressed that she even found time to finish and go to In-ha’s concert at the same time, but of course, that’s what Da-mi wants confirmation about… are he and In-ha brothers? Ji-ho says that In-ha is his dongsaeng, yup. Da-mi wonders why In-ha didn’t say anything to her at their first meeting; he knew she was a huge Yoo Ji Ho fan! Ji-ho wonders the same thing — how did she get an invitation to the Charity Concert. Did she already know him? Da-mi says that they’re chingus — they’ve known each other since they were little, but fate brought them back together after all this time.
Just about this time, In-ha comes around the corner, searching the streetplates to find Da-mi’s house. He sees the two conversing outside her front door, and wraps his fist around the dolphin keychain in anger… anger that is rising so fast that In-ha can do is turn and walk away.
The next day, Ji-ho is biking down the path, as In-ha comes pedaling up alongside him. Ji-ho wonders why he’s not all beat, as In-ha says he’s not tired; it’s not like music is hard work. (Oh ye of little faith…) Ji-ho looks exasperated over that flippant answer, but asks In-ha if he’s still convinced that Ji-ho tampered with his piano. In-ha, still feisty, crabs back that Ji-ho is the prime suspect in a lot of things swirling around In-ha these days… of course, he’s going to suspect him! Ji-ho needs to go off and self-reflect on his bad deeds instead. (What a prick!!) Ji-ho sighs and just wishes In-ha well, but take into stride all the goodwill he’s receiving lately. In-ha says Ji-ho has no standing to say anything like that to him, since he’s already been rejected by Professor Ha. Ji-ho dips his chin, as In-ha goes in for the kill and says that Ji-ho’s face looks like the country hick from Jebu-do again. Why did Ji-ho live his life with such greed; he would have lost everything anyway… and In-ha takes off down the path, leaving Ji-ho contemplating his words. (In-ha just graduated to SUPER PRICK!!!)
Back at home, everyone is sitting around reading the newspapers that rake Ji-ho and his purported greed over the coals. In-ha rightfully pronounces it crap, as Ji-ho shoots side looks at Yeong-rang. In-ha asks if he’s really going to become an adjunct professor over at Gangil University, but EvilStep butts in and asks what’s so wrong with wanting some money in life? Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t like money; did the cretin reporters write these articles while walking up a mountain doing good deeds? HAH. Ji-ho asks which newspapers ran this crap, as In-ha rattles off four of the major media outlets, but this is one freelancer distributing across several papers; there’s no way that they all could write something so accusatory. Yeong-rang turns to Attorney Choi and asks how on earth did the papers even get their hands on such an article — did he contact the reporters? Attorney Choi lies through his teeth and says that he tried but was shut out.
Yeong-rang gets all false indignant over why they think so little of Boosung Group and her son in particular, especially after all the bags of money they’ve spent on advertising with these newspapers. In-ha still wants to know if Ji-ho’s really serious about joining forces with Professor Jung, as EvilStep pipes up to ask if it’s the same Professor Jung who charged Professor Ha with plagiarism and now they’re bitter enemies? No way, Jose! Attorney Choi says that the negative press is mounting, and reaction from the netzens have pretty much shut down Ji-ho’s fansite. Yeong-rang spits that everyone is so shallow, worshipping Ji-ho as the National Treasure Composer… and they turn against him in one freakin’ day? Ji-ho stands up and says that he must meet with Professor Jang first before anything else happens. Yeong-rang asks him what he plans to do, as Ji-ho turns to her and asks if there might be another method to reveal the truth?
In-ha arrives at Attorney Choi’s office, where In-ha grills him about if that whole media blitz was all his doing or, maybe perhaps a joint effort between his mom and Attorney Choi? Attorney Choi doesn’t “understand” what In-ha is asking, as In-ha says he doesn’t care one way or the other who’s doing the dirty work as he won’t interfere. But Attorney Choi needs to stay on his toes, because Ji-ho could be reading his cards from behind his back even right now. In-ha saunters out, and Attorney Choi just chuckles.
Yeong-rang is reading the latest netizen rankings on Nate with a gleeful smirk. Yoo Ji Ho’s name searches have jumped 504 spots from the day before, with Yoo In Ha running in second place. Switching over to read Naver, the same articles are thrown up about Ji-ho, along with the glowing press about In-ha being a young conscience in the music world who dreams of being Schweitzer. (THE Albert Schweitzer? Oh for lame.)
Louis, Bitchy Manager Girl and Do-ri are reading the latest dirt on Ji-ho with exclamations about how he stole his mentor’s sheet music and is now joining Professor Ha’s enemy camp. Do-ri goes all feral and says they should post some comments about how he should be kicked out of the music business right now!! Bitchy Manager Girl says that they should do one better — post comments saying that he’s all stuck up and won’t give autographs because his nose is too high in the air! Do-ri claps and agrees, as Bitchy Manager Girl starts typing… Da-mi arrives and yanks the phone out of her hands, saying that the Yoo Ji Ho she knows isn’t like that. How can you morons criticize someone based on falsehoods and without verification? (TIMELY.)
Louis goes off and says that 99.9% of the rumours that start out like that all turn out to be true. Do-ri calls Da-mi out for being so naive, Ji-ho being his favorite pianist and all that… but she shouldn’t stand up for him if he’s such a bad guy! Da-mi throws the phone down on the table and wipes a tear from her eye. Bitchy Manager Girl is taken aback, wondering what’s gotta into Da-mi.– is Yoo Ji Ho her oppa or something? Louis says for them to cut the crap and get back to work!
On the squash court, Damsari… oops, I mean Jung-wook and Woo-jin are in the middle of a spirited match (and not using stand-ins at all). Woo-jin whiffs an easy serve and hits the ground hard, but Jung-wook offers his hand to help him up, saying that because he won their match, Woo-jin has to do something for him, so will he stand by Jung-wook’s side now? But Woo-jin counters with his own proposal: in his own quest to bring down Boosung, sign a contract saying that he’ll never fire Woo-jin. Jung-wook’s okey fine with that… and calls him “Danny Hong” instead. Woo-jin doesn’t understand, until Jung-wook explains that he’ll be introduced as Danny Hong instead; a second-generation Korean-American who graduated from Columbia University with a degree in economics. Woo-jin, all dripping with sweat, repeats back Danny Hong… Danny Hong…
Back at Boosung, Attorney Choi and Yeong-rang are outside on the veranda congratulating each other for a job well done in lambasting Ji-ho while turning In-ha into a saint. Yeong-rang tells him that at least his appointment as Chairman of the Board is going well, and Attorney Choi says he plans to put that item on the agenda at the emergency board meeting the next day. Ji-ho yells from behind them that they can’t do that!! He says that as Boosung’s largest shareholder, there’s no freakin’ way he can approve of Attorney Choi’s appointment like that. Attorney Choi asks why Ji-ho stands in the way, as Ji-ho says that he can’t trust you, dude. Attorney Choi wants to know the exact details of why, when Ji-ho spills that he found out Choi was the one that sent the disparaging article about him to the newspapers, dirtying Boosung Group’s name and his in the process.
Yeong-rang asks what the hell he’s talking about, when Ji-ho lets on that his announcement to the small group of people in the room of this appointment as a professor at Gangil University was a planted lie. Sure he met up with Professor Jang, but it was only a courtesy dinner. Ji-ho laid the trap to test Attorney Choi’s sincerity instead, and oh by the way, he’s filed a defamation lawsuit against each and every newspaper that ran such falsities against him… and Attorney Choi will be investigated as well for spreading the rumours. Attorney Choi insists there’s been one big misunderstanding, but Ji-ho stops him right there and says the police are on their way to escort him to the station for questioning. Yeong-rang continues to be “surprised,” as Ji-ho tells her she shouldn’t be now that the person(s) wanting to bring him down from inside the Company has now been disclosed. And right on cue, the cops show up and tells Attorney Choi he needs to come with them.
It’s a crazy mess inside Yeong-rang’s office, as Secretary Oh is trying to deflect all the phone calls and e-mails heading her way after the press has found out about Attorney Choi’s questioning by the police. Yeong-rang rips one of the phones out of his hands and asks what is going on with Attorney Choi, as Secretary Oh says that it doesn’t look good since they’ve all identified him as the informant which backs up Ji-ho’s statements. (So much for the ‘confidential informant’ statute.) Yeong-rang sits and stews and says that Attorney Choi is not gonna go down by himself, that’s for sure.
Later that day, Ji-ho decides to hold an emergency press conference to clear up all the bullshit that’s been strewn out about him. To his right sits Professor Jang, assumably to bolster Ji-ho’s claims that he was set up in the newspapers. Ji-ho reiterates that he was never offered nor even considered a professor position at Gangil University, as the story was fabricated to undermine his credibility. Turning to Professor Jang, he asks him to tell the truth to the reporters gathered. Professor Jang stands up and proceeds to lie through his teeth instead — Ji-ho himself came to him personally to beg for a position at Gangil University. Much reporter mumblings occur, as Professor Jang goes on to say that since he wanted to take what he learned under Professor Ha and bring that to work under Jang. As much as he doesn’t like Professor Ha, Professor Jang still didn’t think it right and sent Ji-ho away, but somehow their conversations became leaked to the press. Ji-ho stomps over and asks what the hell he’s doing, as Professor Jang apologizes and says he can’t do what Ji-ho has asked him to do.
Professor Jang quickly exits the room and heads down the stairs with Ji-ho right behind him. Losing him for a second, Ji-ho looks up to see Professor Jang get on the elevator… that Yeong-rang just happens to be standing in at the same time. They head up to her office, and then in a flashback, we see Yeong-rang offer Professor Jang her standard White Bribe Envelope. He takes it, but not before saying that it looks to him like Ji-ho still has admiration for Professor Ha. Professor Jang had asked him to testify in Jang’s favor in the plagiarism matter he has against Professor Ha, but Ji-ho flatly refused. Yeong-rang tells him that’s a story he’s going to have to take to his grave.
Walking across the Boosung courtyard, Ji-ho comes across Yeong-rang and Secretary Oh. Yeong-rang puts on her Concerned Mother hat and just by looking at Ji-ho’s face, can tell that something went horribly wrong. Ji-ho says he needs to find Professor Jang and runs off to do that. With a slight nod of her head, Yeong-rang orders Secretary Oh to follow him as she stands there smirking away.
Ji-ho arrives at Professor Jang’s house (more about that below), rings the doorbell and pounds on the gate so loud as to raise the dead. Meanwhile, Professor Ha is meeting with In-ha, saying that Ji-ho knows more than anything how hurt he was by Professor Jang’s wrongful allegations. Professor Ha looks to In-ha for confirmation, as In-ha said that Ji-ho did say that very thing; he is ashamed and will apologize for Ji-ho instead and the Professor should cheer up. Instead, Professor Ha orders In-ha to dress nicely and go to the Hanguk University Concert Hall tomorrow at 11:00 AM. He will take care of calling the media, because tomorrow is the day he will officially announce In-ha as his successor. In-ha almost faints dead away and asks if he’s not pulling his leg, but Professor Ha says that over the years he has had many students. But this little guy playing so brilliantly with only nine fingers is way qualified to be his successor no matter what. Ji-ho is just a memory to him now, as In-ha says that he will do his very best to earn the Professor’s respect and learn everything from him. Taking his (one) hand in his, the Professor says yeah, do that… because then he will be able to leave this world with all his worries lifted away.
You’d think In-ha would be running out of the Professor’s office in joy, but instead he’s trying to call Da-mi and gets annoyed that she’s not picking up. Well dummy, she’s working right now and trying to avoid your calls, while flashing back to her conversation with Ji-ho the night before when he confirmed that In-ha was his younger brother. She pockets the phone and goes back to clearing the tables.
Yeong-rang tells Attorney Choi that she’s sorry he had such a hard time being raked over the coals by the police, but that everything turned out for the best in the way things went down. Why doesn’t Attorney Choi take the rest of the day off with pay, ne? He declines, as he tells Yeong-rang that now they know for certain what type of person Yoo Ji Ho has turned out to be… and he will never forget the insults inflicted upon him today. Leaving her office, she gets a call from In-ha who tells her that he’s been chosen as the Professor’s successor. She’s as happy as a clam, as she suggests that the three of them go out to dinner to celebrate.
Must be one of Nam-joo’s days to clean, as Attorney Choi’s apartment is spotless but she’s still rooting through his possessions to try and find the tape recorder. But unbeknownst to her, he did end up leaving the office early and has just arrived at the building. A not-so-tense montage of him going up in the elevator mixed with her still searching for the tape recorder ensues. Not finding it, Nam-joo stops to take a breath, but looks over at the wall where the abstract painting is all askew. Her OCD kicks in, and she goes over to straighten it, eventually finding the safe hidden behind it. Attorney Choi gets off at his floor, and pushes the keypad to get inside the apartment at the same time Nam-joo hungry-eyes the safe.
He walks inside and runs into Nam-joo taking off her apron and wonders why she’s there so late. She apologizes for making some extra side dishes that took longer than expected, and tries to make her escape. But Attorney Choi finally recognizes her as Hong Soo Pyo’s wife, since he saw her at the police station oh so long ago. Nam-joo turns around and formally greets him and confirms that she is the person the employment agency sent over. She didn’t realize it was him until she saw the pictures on the sideboard and then her memory came back. Attorney Choi asks if she’s okay with continuing on for him, knowing that he’s Yeong-rang’s second-in-command? Nam-joo sucks it up and says that she doesn’t think that’s a good enough reason to stop working there; it’s ancient history and she’s been busying raising her children, so she hasn’t had time to even think about it. But if HE’s uncomfortable with her being there, then she will stop coming over. As she turns to leave, he says she can stay in his employ but to make sure she’s gone by the time he returns home. He’s kinda picky that way. [snerk]
So-yeol is chatting with the Butt-Ugly Piano Mark II supervisor over why things aren’t going very well with the remake. Even after they spent a chunk of money on the parts and imported hammers, it still isn’t the same. Supervisor Guy says they should report this to Madame Choi, but So-yeol cuts him off with a you’re not reporting anything to anyone unless she gives the go-ahead, arraso? Supervisor Guy says that even though Yeong-rang is asking for hourly updates, he’ll try to run interference in one way or another. So-yeol is cranky, wondering why that even after they’ve used such premium parts, why is the sound so different from the original piano? She flashes back to In-ha’s charity concert, where Da-mi tuned the piano to perfection and SAVED THE SHOW!! Pulling out her phone…
At a local cafe, Da-mi is meeting with So-yeol. She remembers seeing Da-mi at In-ha’s concert, and there was something she wanted to ask her but couldn’t over the phone. When Da-mi doesn’t understand, So-yeol notes that Da-mi was pretty skilled around piano tuning; has she ever wanted to study piano production? Da-mi tells her not really; since she was a child, she treated her piano like a toy mostly, but found that she could repair any problems pretty quickly by herself. So-yeol tells Da-mi she notices a natural talent when she sees one, so would she like to join her in some piano makings? Da-mi asks for clarification, because she doesn’t understand…
Walking home in one of the usual Seoul pop-up thunderstorms, Da-mi hears back the request that So-yeol had made to her earlier, requesting her help because she needs someone that understands a piano inside and out. And if So-yeol’s instinct are correct, Da-mi is just that person to help her. They’ll have to do it on the sly, though… and she’ll make sure Da-mi is paid very well. Shaking her head, Da-mi wonders if she asks for payment for her services in advance, if she’ll have to give it all back once So-yeol realizes she’s still lacking in the piano department.
Walking into Restaurant Louie for her shift, Da-mi enters to find it completely dark except for a single lit-up table in the middle of the floor. Calling out for the director, and then the manager, and then her mom but getting no answer, In-ha walks out from the shadows and chides her for being so late. Da-mi asks why he’s there, and where are her co-workers? In-ha tells her he’s dismissed them for the day, because he’s rented out the entire restaurant just for themselves. Da-mi is speechless, as In-ha explains she’s been out of touch all day and he missed her. This was the only way he could see her without he sending him away, so he’s the only customer tonight. She should enjoy her time with him instead of working. Da-mi calls him out for joking, since this is where she works and doesn’t play around. In-ha says he’s not joking; he’s rented out the restaurant for real.
Anger rising in her eyes, Da-mi says that renting out the restaurant is kinda strange and he’s even more strange for doing it. And BY THE WAY, why didn’t he tell her that Yoo Ji Ho was his hyung, hm? She had told In-ha at the coffeehouse that she was a fan of his, so then why… In-ha cuts her off by saying that he hated it that she was one of his fans; he didn’t want to be compared to Ji-ho by Da-mi as well. He hates being known as Yoo Ji Ho’s dongsaeng, instead of who he is as Yoo In Ha… can she understand how he really feels? Da-mi asks why he’s acting like such a fool, as In-ha says yup, he’s a fool. All his life, everything he’s ever longed for in the world has been taken over by his wonderful older brother, so wouldn’t it be natural to feel inferior after all that? In-ha calms down and tells her he’s done playing second fiddle, because today Professor Ha designated HIM as his successor. He wanted Da-mi to help him celebrate first; hence, the restaurant renting and all that.
Da-mi looks confused over hearing the successor news, as her phone rings and it’s Ji-ho calling. She orders him to stay where he is so she can go straight to him. Apologizing to In-ha for having to leave so suddenly, she turns but In-ha grabs her wrist (*drink*) to keep her from going. He pleads with her not to go; just stay with him tonight. Da-mi says that she still needs to go, but she’ll call him later. She turns to leave again, but this time In-ha is more forceful in grabbing her wrist (*drink*) and yells at her to NOT LEAVE HIM!!! He just needs this one favor from her; he was so excited to be seeing her tonight that he ran all the way to the restaurant. Can she not also think of him in that way? Da-mi says she can’t hear a word In-ha says right now, because all she can think about is Ji-ho. She’s so worried… that she cannot even bring herself to congratulate In-ha on the successorship. Pulling her arm out of his hand, she hurries out. Him waiting a few beats to compose himself, he rushes out after her into the pouring rain. Watching her get into a waiting cab, In-ha stands there simultaneously getting soaked and having his heart broken into a million pieces.
(And I normally don’t like to put up single-screenshots, but these two were just too beautiful to resist. *SOB*)
Ji-ho wanders and stumbles down the street in the same pouring rain, finally finding a street lamp post to fall against. Collapsing to the ground, the passersby move in slow-motion around him, no one caring a bit about the gorgeous wet guy with no socks on sitting out in the rain. He remains there for a good long time, until Yeong-rang and Secretary Oh walk over to scoop him up and bring him home. Yeong-rang tries her best again to be the doting mother while cradling Ji-ho’s head in the car, and they take off just as Da-mi pulls up in the cab. Not seeing him around, she tries calling but gets no answer.
The next day, Ji-ho is still in bed and obviously very sound asleep, because he doesn’t hear In-ha come barging in. Walking over to his desk, In-ha picks up Ji-ho’s phone to see the 10 calls Da-mi made to him last night, with evil thoughts clouding his face. Picking up the Girly Binder, he leafs through it until he comes across the picture of Ji-ho that Da-mi drew. Snapping it shut, even more evil thoughts race through In-ha’s pea-sized brain, as he voices over that Yoo Ji Ho will never be able to have Da-mi. He needs to feel the same way that In-ha has felt all these many years… how it feels to lose something you’ve really wanted.
Ji-ho finally wanders down to the living room, where EvilStep comes out bearing a wrapped gift package. She tells Ji-ho that in the Race of Life, no one gives awards to second-place finishers. After he’s lived all his life as the Number One Composer Guru, why would he want to live the rest of his life as Number Two? Ji-ho tells her there’s no way he’s going to be second-best, but she counters with what kind of music CAN he compose if he keeps being branded a traitor? She’d rather sleep with a stone Buddha. (BWAHAHAHAHA!!!) Pushing the gift towards Ji-ho, she tells him it’s mugwort rice cakes and he needs to take this present when he goes to see Professor Jang later today. When Ji-ho asks why, she tells him that even a ghost chases after rice cakes. Make sure he knows to eat them slowly; he may get a tummy-ache if he scarfs them all down at once.
At Professor Jang’s house, Ji-ho is horrified to find out from the ahjumma that the Professor has gone off traveling. Since he was just at the press conference yesterday, how could he go off gallivanting at a time like this — he’s inside hiding from me, right? The ahjumma says that no one is at home; she’s just the caretaker while he’s away. But before she can disappear back behind the gate, Ji-ho hands the rice cakes to her and says that he will come over to see him again. But inside, the rice cakes package is being unwrapped by a set of hands that belong to… Attorney Choi, as he paws through the wrapped cakes to make sure there’s nothing untowards lurking insides. He tells Professor Jang that one cannot be too careful now, can they, as Professor Jang just glares at him. Saying bon appetit, he gets up to leave as Professor Jang reaches for one of the rice cakes. The one that he happens to choose has a HUGE diamond ring sitting underneath it. (The hell?)
Attorney Choi leaves the Jang residence and looks around to make sure he isn’t being watched before walking to his car. What an idiotic move, because you know that Ji-ho would be standing behind a van watching his every move. (And he had to hide behind something large, because that boy is such a tall drink of water!)
At the Seoul Metropolitan Harbor for lunch, Professor Ha present a pen to In-ha as proof that he has chosen him as his successor. It belonged to his mentor, and he had written all his famous compositions with it. The Professor is glad that it’s found a new owner, so In-ha needs to compose many great pieces of music with this pen now. In-ha starts stuttering and Yeong-rang says she feels like she’s dreaming — there couldn’t have been a more happier day than today! Professor Ha says that he’ll do everything in his power to help In-ha succeed… right after he finishes being the Music Director for a UN World Peace Concert coming up. Hey In-ha, why don’t you compose the theme music for it, hunh? In-ha goes pale and asks for reassurance from the Professor, who says that no one will give him any lip about it if they hear it’s coming from his successor!
In-ha sit-bows deeply and says that he’ll do his very best, but then the Professor takes a left turn away from the conversation and tells him it looks like he and So-yeol are enjoying each other’s company, so keep that up, okay? Having a crazy-haired eccentric for a father and growing up without a mother, she’s a bit, um… lacking, so please take good care of her. In-ha starts to protest that request, until Yeong-rang interjects and says she’ll make sure that happens. They both play music so they’re gonna get along SO well. In-ha drops his head and tells the Professor not to worry… he’ll be good to her… all the time looking pained and frustrated. (Ha. And you thought this successorship came with no strings attached?!?)
Da-mi looks around the park where Ji-ho was supposed to meet her, crabbing that he probably stood her up again. A tall man wearing shades and a Kangol hat sidles up behind her and asks what the heck she means? He’s been there for ages! Turning around, Da-mi sees that it’s Ji-ho in disguise, as he apologizes for all the trouble yesterday; his mind went crazy and he couldn’t think straight. She starts yelling at him saying how worried she was about him, and he’s all worried about waiting for her? Ji-ho tells her to speak softer so people won’t notice it’s him. Da-mi doesn’t care and rips him a new asshole over why would he want NOT to be seen? It’s not like he was the one that betrayed the Professor… as people stop and point and turn to look at them.
Ji-ho grabs her hand (*drink*) and drags her away from the forming crowd, saying that he’s not in disguise for himself; he doesn’t care. But why should Da-mi be painted with the same wide brush in embarrassment to be see with him? She reaches up and takes the hat and glasses off his face, and tells him she’s there to meet with her favorite pianist, Yoo Ji Ho. He shouldn’t have to hide from people just for her benefit; she wants him to hold his head up high in front of people! The look on his face could melt butter, as she gently takes his hand and says that they should go now. Together. They head off at a brisk pace, but suddenly a group of schoolgirls gather around, squeeing and taking lots of pictures until Da-mi and Ji-ho have to take off in a dead run to avoid being trampled by them. (Obviously these girls must never read the papers or live under a rock. Just sayin’.)
Ji-ho and Da-mi step out onto a stage where only a grand piano sits. Ji-ho asks why she brought him there, as she responds that when she was very young, she actually played piano on this stage. Ji-ho snorts and says no way that they would let just anyone play on a stage like this, but she counters with a question: Can you play a piano without actually looking at one? She offers to teach him, and sits down on the bench. She closes her eyes, and says that you need to visualize the keyboard with your mind. When the piano lid is opened, you can then see the black and white keys and the people who are being seated in the audience until it fills up. They are Yoo Ji Ho’s fans, who cherish and adore him. Da-mi starts in on the “Heart and Soul” bass line as Ji-ho looks over her shoulder. Going into the melody, all of a sudden he is struck by a familiar memory and it flashes across his face… as he flashes back to the time he and Da-mi were caught on that same stage 14 years prior.
Ji-ho just stands there like a statue watching Da-mi play, until a security guard busts them and Ji-ho grabs her hand (oh forget it) and they run off the stage together. But Da-mi suddenly finds this all too familiar, and she stops in her tracks. Ji-ho pulls her away and they run all the way to the lobby, where they stand and face each other with big shit-eatin’ grins on their faces, finally realizing who each other is. Ji-ho asks if she’s her… the girl from back then? Da-mi nods her approval, and as the cameraman circles around them, Ji-ho becomes Young Ji-Ho again and likewise for Da-mi. Holding out his hand nicely for her to grasp, they run out of the building together.
Later on, Yeong-rang takes a seat in her home office and opens the box that holds the Magic Composing Pen the Professor passed down to In-ha. Taking it in her hands and creepily caressing it, she thanks In-ha for doing well; she has kept her first promise to him. Being the successor is the first step to becoming the world’s best musician. And with one lone tear sliding down her cheek, she says that the final step is for him to finally take over the Boosung Group. It’s his mom’s dream; In-ha can now make it come true, right?
Ji-ho has walked Da-mi back to her house. As she says she’ll be going inside now, Ji-ho acts all nonchalant, orders her to do her homework for tomorrow, and then walks back down the hill. Da-mi snipes and asks how much more of a pill could he be? She’s thought of him all this time and they just meet up after so long… couldn’t he say the same things to her? She heads inside, but Ji-ho finally turns around and says that Hong Da Mi has sure grown up pretty… much more pretty than he ever dreamed she would. And with a goofy grin spreading across his face, he’s off.
At the hair salon the next day, Yeong-rang is getting primped and pampered when Secretary Oh arrives to tell her that he has confirmation Professor Jang has left the country, and he gets a ‘good boy’ for his troubles. Back at the house, EvilStep is besides herself saying that he took all those expensive rice cakes for free and left for the States regardless? Ji-ho says that he left to take a teaching post overseas, but someone must have made sure that he left the country free and easy because Professor Jang knew that Ji-ho was looking for him. Flashing back to seeing Mommie Dearest and Professor Jang in the elevator together, and then seeing Attorney Choi leaving the Professor’s house, Ji-ho sits and stews until EvilStep interrupts and asks if he’s going to take this lying down? Ji-ho tells her au contraire, mon cher… this is far from the end. If Ji-ho has to go to the States to track down the Professor, he will do that very thing.
Seeing a wrapped package on the table in front of them, EvilStep asks what it’s doing there. Ji-ho says its an exchange gift for the mugwort rice cakes he brought over to the Professor the day before. Ji-ho gets up to leave, as EvilStep sits there wondering “exchange gift?” Flashing back to when she slipped into Yeong-rang’s bedroom and stole the diamond ring that she stuck inside the rice cakes, EvilStep excitedly unwraps the exchange gift. Ji-ho is upstairs in his room when he gets a text from Professor Jang, saying that by the time he gets his message, he will be on an airplane. He wants Ji-ho to not blame him too much, since that’s how life goes these days… and that he hopes Ji-ho likes the gift that the Professor sent in return, because it should be some help to him.
Opening up the gift, EvilStep is appalled to see that it’s only ginseng roots. (NOOO!! Flashbacks to WBDS!!! NOT GINSENG!!!) Railing at Professor Jang for sending back such a cheap gift when she sent over a 3-carat diamond ring, she tosses the package onto the floor just as Ji-ho arrives. He says it’s not ginseng that was the present… it’s this, as Ji-ho holds up a tape recorder that was hidden inside the package. Pushing the play button, they hear Professor Jang’s voice asking if he is supposed to leave Korea, what will he be given in exchange? EvilStep suddenly jumps up with her mouth hanging open, but we don’t hear what the rest of the tape contains.
Yeong-rang is paying for her salon visit when she receives a call from EvilStep. She wants to rub it in that Professor Jang sent Ji-ho a tape recorder with Professor Jang basically spilling his guts on it. Everything’s on there about how Jang was paid off to make a false statement to the press, and you can clearly hear the other voice on the tape as well. Yeong-rang asks what she means by that, as EvilStep says hah, you would know better about that. Yeong-rang had better be prepared for the shitstorm that’s coming down, because Ji-ho just left for Boosung… oh, and Yeong-rang had better take a Valium before meeting Ji-ho. Even though Ji-ho told EvilStep to keep her mouth shut, she just couldn’t knowing Yeong-rang’s incessant temper… and then hangs up on her!!!
Secretary Oh shows up again and says that they need to leave for Boosung right now, because Ji-ho has convened an emergency Board of Directors meeting. Wondering why now of all times to request a meeting, Yeong-rang suddenly goes pale and tells him that they need to PALI PALI RIGHT NOW!!
Now there’s the Joo Ji Hoon we all love and remember, dressed very nicely with Perfect Jihoon Prince Shin hair all in place. (Excuse me a second… *fans self*) Ji-ho says that as he’s the largest shareholder in Boosung, he’s gonna be handling the emergency Board meeting today. And because he’s doing that, he has an important announcement to make about the false rumours about him that have caused great harm to the Boosung Group’s image. But today, Ji-ho has received crucial evidence that someone was deliberately framing him. Ji-ho stands up, holds up the tape recorder that Professor Jang sent him, and says this is the evidence.
Attorney Choi has heard enough, and protests that Ji-ho is not following proper meeting protocol. Even though he doesn’t know what’s on that recorder, shouldn’t he have consulted with Madame Choi first; personal honour is important, but the interests of the Company come first! Cranky Directors #1 and #2 (they’re baaaaack!) tells Attorney Choi to siddown and shaddup — they’re not puppets, so they should hear what’s on the tape now. If someone is deliberately defaming Ji-ho, should he bury it under the rug? Play the thing already!!
Ji-ho says that with the Board’s consent, he’ll play it for them now. With his finger on the play button, Yeong-rang rushes into the Board Room, and orders Ji-ho to stop right there… don’t do it!! Ji-ho pushes the play button anyway, as Yeong-rang runs up to where he is standing yelling ANDWAE!!! And there we end Episode 10!
Air Date: 16 September 2012
Ratings: AGB Nielsen Nationwide 9.2% (17th) / Seoul 9.6% (12th); TmNS Nationwide 9.8% (17th) / Seoul 9.7% (15th)
Flowers and Brickbats
The ratings really tanked into the single digits for this episode, but we should be thankful that they were even this high due to two typhoons bearing down on the Korean Peninsula that weekend. (You can tell that the first was a bad one byt the amounts of rainfall and flooding areas notes on the crawls in the middle of the episode. It looked like all television viewing was affected, so I’m just taking this dip in stride. But mianhae to My Precious and the other fine actors, because this episode was just so freakin’ boring in the first 40 minutes. It finally picked up after the Da-mi/In-ha restaurant scene, but the first half was padded with so many flashbacks you’d think the PD-nim was buying time because one of the actors was unavailable for shooting or something.
And I found the whole storyline of the Charity Concert a bit far-fetched. I doubt that kids in the cancer ward would want to go out and hear a classical music concert instead of oh, maybe 2PM or IU or any one of the Idol Bands so rampant these days. It was part of our curriculum at the University of Illinois School of Music (salute!) to go around to hospitals and nursing homes to perform for the residents; got some nice work-study credit for that as well.
I had to laugh a bit when all the main characters were sitting around reading the defamatory newspaper articles on Ji-ho. In-ha starts rattling off the names of the rags that printed such crap, especially concentrating on the one named “Taeyang Ilbo” — Tae-yang was Chang-wook’s character’s name in “Bachelor’s Vegetable Store.” Nice callback by the writers; I wonder how many other inside jokes will be in future episodes!
Those of you who have watched several gazillion K-dramas will most likely recognize the location standing in for Professor Jang’s house. That location is actually where several management agencies have their headquarters, most notably Glorious Entertainment — in fact, it’s Ji Chang Wook’s agency’s HQ! Just around the corner from there is a Gloria Jean’s Coffee Store, where several of the cafe scenes in 5F were filmed as well. The actual building is at 26-28 Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, and many of the DayRock Daum Fan Club meetings are held there as well since it’s so centrally-located in Seoul. By the way, the address plates on the outsides of the buildings that you see in dramas are all fakes — there’s a well-circulated story that when the family that lived in the house where “Personal Taste” was filmed ended being overrun with tourists, all wanting to take pictures and freely wander around the premises, productions have been very careful to try and shield the real people that live on those streets from the throngs of looky-loos.
Music Nerd Ramblings: So-yeol truly does know her way around the music world when she told In-ha that a *true* pianist always checks his instrument before the start of any performance. For musicians of any level, that’s a given on the level of performing a pre-flight check for pilots. And wouldn’t the auditorium have security guards wandering around to keep things on the straight and narrow? Just another day in K-Drama Suspend Your Beliefs Land. Sigh.
So we get two new pieces in this episode: the Chopin Polonaise Op. 53 in A-flat major, and the second movement of the Beethoven ‘Pathétique’ Piano Sonata No. 8 in C-minor. Both very well-known show pieces for a concert pianist, so no great revelations there. I would pay good money for the Music Director to pull something radical out of his bag o’ tricks, like some Weber or even some more Dvorak… but I’m not holding my breath.
Interesting that So-yeol made a reference to the Estrichmann hammers in her meeting with the Supervisor Guy; he wasn’t kidding when he said they were top of the line. For those little pieces of felt and wood, each sucker costs about $450.00 USD from the last price sheet I saw in late 2011. 88 keys in a standard piano, and we’re talking some serious coin Boosung is shelling out to kit out yet another Butt-Ugly Piano. Glad it’s not MY money they’re spending!
Welp, that’s another one in the bag. Looks like I’ll need to purchase a replacement computer keyboard now, since I’ve pretty much broken mine banging out these recaps. Seeyas soon for Episode 11!